Nickelodeon’s public beta of its social net parentsconnect.com is now live, following the private trial started in July. This is a canny extension of the brand into the parents of its main audience; topic discussions cleverly span pre-conception right up to late teens, building in a potential 20-year long audience and differentiating the site from rival, more specialist parent sites. That said, the Nickelodeon brand isn’t on the site yet because it might have “confused parents” – it’ll be added later. The site is also paying 21 “host parents” to moderate discussions and contribute to blogs.
Nickelodeon TV president Cyam Zarghami told NYTimes that the cost of investment was small compared with “tapping into the muscle of the marketing machine” but said she expected the site to be profitable within a year. Zarghami would not give traffic details for the private beta but said the 30 percent of users who have registered a profile and research from the trial showed that hosted blogging and specialized discussion areas were in demand. Later this year, Parents Connect TV will be added, including user content in the form of video blogging. The site will feature various forms of display ads as well as sponsorship and direct marketing.Release
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This article originally appeared in MediaGuardian.